Poles outnumber Antilleans thanks to EU expansion

Polish flag with coat of arms
Photo: Wikipedia

The number of Poles living in the Netherlands has increased almost fivefold since the country joined the European Union in 2004, according to official figures published on Monday.

The 150,000 Poles have overtaken Antilleans in terms of numbers and are the second largest EU migrant group behind the Germans, who number 360,000, national statistics office CBS reports.

In 2004 there were around 35,000 Poles living in the Netherlands. The number has been growing steadily since 1996 and more rapidly since 2007, when work permit restrictions were lifted.

Around 80%, or 120,000 of the total, are first generation migrants. The largest Polish community is in The Hague, numbering 12,000, while the largest proportion is in the Flevoland town of Zeewolde, where Poles account for 4.3% of the 20,000 inhabitants.

Until 2004 more Polish women than men emigrated to the Netherlands, many for marriage, but in recent years the number of men and women migrating has been equal.

The figures are compiled from local authority records and do not include seasonal Polish workers, as they do not register with the municipality.

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